The guided-missile frigate Hengshui and its boat conduct training on boarding and inspecting a merchant ship simulated by Stratton. (mod.gov.cn/ Zheng Fufeng)
HAWAII, July (ChinaMil) -- The guided-missile frigate Hengshui of the Navy of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the USCGC Stratton (cutter of the United States Coast Guard) conducted joint anti-piracy drills in waters near Hawaii on July 19 during the Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2016 joint exercise.
"During the exercise, the USCGC Stratton simulated a merchant ship attacked by pirates and our warship was going to conduct an anti-piracy check on the USCGC Stratton," introduced by Zhang Xiaosheng, captain of the guided-missile frigate Hengshui.
He said that this drill was different from conventional anti-piracy exercises because they would board the USCGC Stratton to check if there were pirates in the crew, if there were hazardous materials left on the ship and if the crew needed assistance, rather than check whether the ship had prohibited items.
At 8 am, a helicopter carrying marines took off from the guided-missile frigate Hengshui and hovered at a low altitude above the USCGC Stratton to provide air alert and fire support for the boarding team.
Several heavily armed marines reached the target vessel by a rigid-hull inflatable boat, and in accordance with procedures and tactics, they climbed on board, searched the cabin and checked hazardous materials.
Yang Xiaolong, leader of the boarding team, introduced, "We checked the simulated passengers and crew and also controlled the cab, engine control room and other parts. According to the provisions, we examined relevant cabins and documents. After securing the ship and confirmed that the ship didn’t need assistance, we then left."
At the same time, the USS Stockdale and USS Princeton conducted anti-terrorism and anti-piracy checks on merchant ships simulated by French frigate Prairial and Chinese guided-missile destroyer Xi'an respectively.
Wang Xiaoyong, deputy leader of a destroyer flotilla with the South China Sea Fleet of the PLA Navy, introduced that anti-terrorism and anti-piracy drills are commonly conducted at this year’s RIMPAC because it can contribute to the promotion of exchanges and mutual trust between navies and it can enhance the capacity to jointly cope with diverse military tasks.
In addition to anti-terrorism and anti-piracy drills, the Taskforce 175 made up of four Chinese ships also conducted exercises on tracking and monitoring merchant ships, fleet movement in formation and other subjects on the same day.
A rigid-hull inflatable boat from the guided-missile frigate Hengshui intercepts the merchant ship acted by the USCGC Stratton during the exercise. (mod.gov.cn/ Zheng Fufeng)